The campaign to attract more women to the Canadian trucking industry has a highly visible new symbol: a 2019 Western Star 5700XE with a promotional wrap featuring the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada and pictures of its members.
The 5700XE model, which is owned by Sharp Transportation Systems, has been named “Miss Destiny Star” by company driver Shelley Uvanille-Hesch, founder of the WTFC.
“I will be driving this truck across Canada and into the United States and I know everyone who sees it will be a little more aware that women do work in trucking and that it’s an industry that can provide a good living for them.
“I want to thank Western Star, Sharp Transportation, Highway Western Star and the other organizations which have done so much to help WTFC. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel,” Uvanille-Hesch said.
Uvanille-Hesch contacted Western Star to ask for the company’s support of the WTFC. Since then, Western Star has been a corporate member of the organization and funded the truck wrap. The WTFC has worked closely with Highway Western Star in Ayr, Ontario, the dealership where the 5700XE was purchased.
“Western Star has a long heritage of females in executive positions and believes women play a critical role in diversifying our industry,” said Samantha Parlier, vice president of marketing and strategy for Western Star. “We are honored our 5700XE truck model is the flagship representation of this important organization.”
Since its founding in 2014, the WTFC has grown to more than 300 members. It’s activities include mentoring women in driving school and hosting career events at high schools to giving interviews to polish the public image of truckers. The federation is also involved in several charitable causes and appears at industry events to gain visibility and recruit women drivers, managers, dispatchers and technicians.
Challenger Motor Freight, one of Canada’s largest trucking firms, recently announced it would pay a year’s membership dues for any of its female drivers who join WTFC.